It’s The Grocer’s latest article from our wine expert, Neil Hodgson, this week Neil is talking organic wines!
As we become more aware of the chemicals used every day, and try to reduce our exposure to them, many people are choosing organic products over non-organic items. Wine is no different, with organic wines becoming more prevalent on everybody’s radar.
But what does organic really mean? Especially when it comes to organic wines, the subject of this column. Put in very simple terms it means wines made without the use of certain chemicals in any part of the wine making process, from controlling weeds in the vineyards to what is used in the winery to turn grapes into wine.
Making organic wines means a whole change in approach for many winemakers, especially those converting from traditional growing practice to organics and when a vineyard is converted from traditional management to organic management it takes a number of years for the vines to get used to growing in different conditions.
This throws up some challenges for winemakers but the long-term benefits are worth the short-term pain. Some of the biggest selling wines at Fresh Choice, Nelson are organic wines; and the Grocer has put a big focus on increasing the range of organic wines on his shelves, look for the green organic label around the price indicator.
Wines like the Mahana “Gravity” Sauvignon Blanc for $16.99 and the premium Millton Vineyards Chenin Blanc are just two very good examples.
Nelson’s Richmond Plain Wines was one of the country’s first organic certified wines and along with Te Mania are producing some outstanding organic and bio-dynamic wines. Bio-dynamics could be described as taking organic production up another level, but however you describe it the wines being produced by these two wineries are beautiful examples.
For something a little different try the Richmond Plains Blanc de Noir for $16.99, made from free-run Pinot Noir juice it is both easy drinking and a very serious wine at the same time.
Organic wine production has improved out of sight in the last 15 years and today many of New Zealand’s best wines are produced organically.